It has been a while since the last review regarding a film by famous director Naomi Kawase. As always Naomi Kawase will bring you a refined adaptation of a story that will resonate with many but will be far from recognition by others.
After An: Sweet Bean Paste and Still the Water, films both acclaimed by AVO Magazine, we will take a look at this story which is derived from a book by author Mizuki Tsujimura.
The film tells the story of the couple Kurihara, played by Hiromi Nagasaku and Arata Iura, who decided to build a family together. After trying to conceive a child for many years the couple decides to try fertility treatment in Sapporo but circumstances around their trip make it so that they are unable to make the journey. This eventually leads to them giving up on natural means to have a child and they decide to enjoy life together.
While making a trip they stumble upon a TV programme that makes them think about other ways to expand their family. Adoption is decided. After a while the Kuriharas are chosen to be parents to the newborn Asato, this is where the story really begins.
A few years after the adoption a girl comes to their door, claiming to be Asato’s mother and wanting to retrieve him. Who is this girl and what happened in the years prior? Through flashbacks and a view from Asato’s birth mother’s side the viewer will be shown how the story came to be.
Noticeable in many of Naomi Kawase’s movies, she likes to play with visuals portraying symbolism to what is going on in the story. Nature plays a very big part in it. Even though it’s beautiful, at times it can distract from the story and what’s happening but that’s a minor disturbance depending on what you like to see in the film.
The story in itself is of a sensitive nature in many ways, for people going through fertility issues and looking to adopt, things might be familiar but also for teen moms or women struggling in pregnancies that are unexpected, or are forced to give up their child because of circumstances there is a lot of recognition to be found. The birth mothers story is a very heavy one that portrays how a family situation can change dramatically depending on the way your family handles tough issues. You might experience clear feelings of injustice. It’s an emotionally heavy film, something very familiar if it’s about Naomi Kawase’s work.
Since the story is derived from a book and finished in a true Kawase fashion, it can feel as if the story isn’t finished. At least not in this film, if you’re expecting good closure on the story, this is something you will not find. It kind of gives off the feeling you want to know more about how things will play out in the end. In that case, it’s a good idea to read the novel or watch the drama that was created years before the film.
The film TRUE MOTHERS shows a portrayal of different types of mothers making decisions which they think might be best for them or for their children. All while tackling the many obstacles you might run into in your already established family or unplanned motherhood situation. Be sure to give it a look, it will definitely open your world.